Thursday, August 21, 2014

Being refined (again)

The Mayor & I find ourselves in a situation where God's is refining us.

Ugh - it was SO hard to write that sentence because I want so much to believe that God has forgotten us. Yet, while my head screams that at me, my heart knows differently.

This past year has been hard on me. Trying to get on with life after the death of my father has been difficult. Even though he lived many states away, he was such a vital part of my life. There's that hole.

Add that to the issues at work and other family issues, I've felt ready to crack.

Now I feel like I'm drowning. My family is being attacked by the Enemy and is using my church in the process.

So I have been angry with God. Angry with other people in my life.

I am being offered a life line, yet I don't want to take it. Why? Because it's not on MY terms.

I am selfish. I always want to do things MY way, especially the difficult things.

I need to sign up for crazy overtime? Fine - but I will choose the days. I won't let them be assigned to me.

These most recent events are SO beyond my control. I have had no part in the decisions. Yet in the back of my mind and in the recesses of my heart I know the decision is for the best.

It's funny.... We know that God's doesn't promise an easy walk. In fact it tells us we will be tested. But He will be with us every step of the way. He is the potter & I am the clay.

Much like gold, I am being refined once again. Foolish of me to think that my story was going to be easy from here on out.

Satan needs to attack when you are doing God's will. So - here we are doing God's will and being attacked. It's discouraging. We've learned who our friends are.

I am ready to start healing. I've needed it for about a year now. Unfortunately, when you heal there is still pain to work through.

God refine me.....

Many blessings,

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Guard your words parents

I recently read a post on Facebook by a fellow dispatcher. She wanted sympathy from her peers because her 12 year old step-daughter came home with a fake lip piercing. A fight ensued and the dispatcher told her child that she was forbidden to wear the fake piercing unless she wanted to look like a trashy hoe.

That got me thinking.

Whether this parent/step-parent actually called their child a trashy hoe isn't the point. The point is that the child only heard that her step-mother thought she was a trashy hoe.

Parents - our words are so hurtful. We may not mean them the way they are heard, but the fact is that each time we utter an unkind word towards our children it damages their precious souls a little more each time.

Think about it. How many times did I have to hear that my father only wanted a boy & I was a disappointment before I actually believed it? Not many - especially when it was coming from the mouth of an adult who "loved" me.

Words are powerful. They are like a double-edges sword. Doing more damage than we can imagine.

As parents, grandparents, role models we are called to build these young ones up. The world around them will tear them down. Their peers will certainly try to find ways to tear them down. So why should we? It's our job to protect them. Love them. Encourage them.

Parents, I challenge to you to find compromises. Be slow to speak. I am just as guilty at this.

Remember those hurtful words that you were told when you were young. How those words stuck. Aren't there times when you remember that person making fun of you because you were tall/short/skinny/overweight/smart/dumb. Remember those words as you get ready to speak to your child.

Many blessings,

Friday, June 13, 2014

1st Father's Day

This Sunday is Father's Day. If I'm really honest with you, I'd say that I just want to ignore the day and pretend it doesn't exist. Yet that wouldn't be fair to my husband.

So, Sunday I need to choose to celebrate my husband. He deserves it. He is an amazing father to our two children.

I also need to remember my father. This will be the 1st Father's Day without him.

My father wasn't a perfect. man. I honestly believe he did he best loving us when we were growing up. He was a hurt young man who didn't have a good example of showing love. That poured over into his marriage and his relationship with his daughters. It wasn't until he truly hit rock bottom - divorce - that he had to reestablish those relationships.

It has been 9 1/2 months since my dad passed. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him still. His lack of presence in my life is like a giant hole. The tears don't come daily, but that doesn't mean I don't hurt.

I want to find a way to honor my father's life while at the same time celebrating my husband.

It's an uphill battle.

Many blessings,

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The broken heart of a teenage girl

There once was a young girl who wanted so much to be loved by her father. For years she tried everything she could think of to get his attention, only to be turned away. She couldn't understand why he didn't love her. Was she not pretty enough? Was she not athletic enough?

As the years went by, this girl started turning her attention towards boys. She would fill pages & pages of her diaries professing her love. Most of the time her attentions went unnoticed. Again, wasn't she pretty enough? Was she too tall? Did she not wear the right clothes? Say the right things?

She was a plain Jane. Most of the guys liked her - as a friend. Usually they befriended her in order to gain access to her more attractive friends. While this crushed her heart, that didn't stop her from trying to get a guy's attention.

Eventually, she gave away the one possession that meant so much - herself. Yet it still wasn't enough to keep a guy interested. One guy played with her heart for over 3 years. Each time she found herself in a relationship with someone new, the boy she loved would tell her he loved her & wanted to be with her. She would then break-up to be with him. Within days he would grow tired of their relationship.

She even considered going back to the man who raped her. Feeling that he would be the only person who would ever love her.

She was depressed. Unloved. Desperate.

Until one day, He came back into her life.

He showed her what love was really about. She was to be pursued. She captured His heart and He did everything He could to show His love.

The girl grew into a woman and each day He shows His love in new ways.

Her hurts have healed. She knows what it is to love and be loved in return. While she may look back on those years with sadness for that lost girl, she knows that He was there every step of the way.

And just who was that girl?

It was me.

Friday, April 18, 2014

..... but Sunday's coming!

The basis of my faith took place over 2000 years ago.

It wasn't just the birth of a boy to a virgin.

It wasn't just the betrayal in the Garden.

It wasn't just the humiliation & Crucifixion of an innocent man.

It was the Resurrection of the Son.

The fact that God loved each and every one of us so much, that He sent his Son to take on our sins. So that we may no longer be separated from Him.

What an amazing gift!

Yet we often overlook that gift. We focus more on the commercialization of Easter and less on what it truly represents.

God, once again, saved his chosen. Just like in Exodus, when the angel of death passed over the Israelites God sent yet another sacrificial Lamb so that we have have Eternal life with Him.

Many blessings,

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My story changes

The Mayor and I started up a new couples small group. We've been out of it for just over a year. We needed the time off. Group was beginning to become something I dreaded week after week. That's when you know it is time to walk away.

So here we are. Back leading a group. I've got to admit, I'm nervous. It's time to put myself out there again.

As we met last night, it was time for me & The Mayor to share our stories.

Yet last night, I realized my story has changed just a little bit. So much of my story is definitely about my past and how with God's help I have overcome it. Right now, its just so much more. It's become about the restoration of my relationship with my father. It was freeing to share that new chapter of my life. I think I needed to 'hear' it. It may not have helped anyone else.... but it certainly helped me.

I love how God continues to use your life to teach you new things.

Many blessings,

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Musings of me

One of the things I want to accomplish with Mending Hearts is to help others find healing. For them to know, learn & embrace that they are NOT defined by their past. God loves them exactly as they are and He wants to meet them where they are.

While I do not want to keep revisiting my past, I know that in order to truly be effective I need to share the pain. Become transparent. Take myself off a pedestal and right into the muck and mire where others are.

I've been in that pit. Feeling unloved. Unworthy. Unaccepted. Though you don't want to wallow, it sometimes is so much easier to stay than to fight and claw your way out. The enemy whispers in your ear "do you really think people will like you" "once they find out what you've done, they'll never accept you".

This past week, I've seen yet another example of why this ministry is so important. Young girls seeking love by anyone they can find. Reaching out to strangers to feel complete; whole. Yet not realizing that the only One who can fill that void is a loving Heavenly Father.

So, yet again, I am reminded to get off my @$$ and do something. It's time to meet these ladies (young & old) where they are. Pray with them. For them. That God will guide me.

Again - I turn to you for help. Simply pray. Pray that I stop dragging my feet. To stop being afraid of succeeding. Yep - you see that right. It's not that I'm afraid to fail. I am afraid of succeeding. I always have  been. It's easier to blend into the woodwork - stay a wallflower - when you haven't succeeded.

One thing I've learned. If God wants something, He'll move mountains to make it happen. I just happen to be along for the ride this time around.

Many blessings,

Friday, February 21, 2014

To be child-like

I co-lead a group of 6th grade girls at my church. This is my 2nd time around.

I'll admit, the 1st time I decided to lead a group I went kicking & screaming. You see, my friend wanted to co-lead a group together. She promised that I would be a 'silent' partner (hahahaha - silent. RIGHT!) So, I took the step & applied to be a leader.

Sadly, my friend didn't move along with me. But I spent 3 years with a wonderful core group of girls. While my heart was slightly saddened to see them move up to high school, I knew it was time to let them go. It was time for someone else to have an impact on their lives.

So, here I am again. I signed up for another 3 years. It's tough. Especially on the weekends that I work. Instead of going home & going to sleep, I usually go straight to church so I can volunteer and then go home for a little sleep.

This past weekend was our annual local retreat called Walking Wisely Weekend. Church families are kind enough to open their homes to all the different middle school groups for a weekend, house & feed them.

My group has 23 girls on the roster. 20 signed up for the weekend. YIKES!!

Yet 2 weeks before, girls came to church telling my co-leader about a girl in school that was bullying some of the girls. They sat there talking bad about the situation. My co-leader decided to issue a challenge. Instead of talking about the girl, maybe someone should invite her to church. Maybe someone should invite her to Walking Wisely Weekend.

Remember, these are 6th grade girls.

God moved mountains and this girl joined us for the weekend.

The first night, God spoke straight to her heart. She was shocked to learn that God has a plan for her. That even if SHE didn't believe in Him, He believes in her.